In February 2015, more than 30 vendors at the Myrtle Beach Flea Market were informed that the 150,000-square-foot building had lost its lease and would be closing in the spring. But rather than packing up his leftover stock and calling it a career, one of the vendors decided to take matters into his own hands.
Marty Keane, owner of Regenerating PBS Wristbands, was able to successfully take over the operation and sign a new lease on the building. The Myrtle Beach Flea Market – which now will be known as the Grand Strand Flea – will remain open for the foreseeable future.
Thanks to Keane, more than 30 vendors, plus a few new additions, will continue to sell their wares inside this south Myrtle Beach shopping destination.
New name, same deals — Photo courtesy of Grand Strand Flea Market
"Customer service is the name of our game," says Keene, who will continue to run his original business, along with the entire flea market, in hopes of turning the operation around. "That's going to be our motto going forward at the new Grand Strand Flea Market."
For more than two decades, the Myrtle Beach Flea Market was the hub of activity for independent vendors, antique outlets and consignment shops on the Grand Strand.
Hudson's Flea Market in Surfside Beach and Everything Under the Sun Flea Market were the only competition, and those markets are both on opposite ends of the strand, while the Myrtle Beach Flea Market was the only one of its kind within Myrtle Beach city limits.
As you can imagine, the news that it was closing came as such a shock, not only to the vendors who make their livelihoods inside the dozens of booths inside, but also to the customers who frequently shopped for bargains at the location.
The flea market adjoins the Market Common property that has exploded with residents and visitors over the past decade. During that span, flea markets and antique stores have boomed in popularity nationally, in part due to the economic downturn of 2008.
But the explosion of shows such as Antique Roadshow and American Pickers has made flea markets much more than shopping centers and more like treasure-hunting expeditions.
That's why so many locals and visitors were pleased to hear about the last-ditch effort to save the flea market. New owners hope that the name change will expose the Grand Strand Flea Market to a broader audience, and efforts are being made to add more vendors and merchandise to the outlet.